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Member of the southern pea family with a purple hull. Southern peas are more commonly called cowpeas, the most common type of which are black-eyed peas. Cowpeas originated in the area of Africa which is now known as Niger amd were brought to North America by slaves. Wielders of the English tongue at first used cowpeas as a feed for their livestock (thus the name cowpea). Whether cowpeas moved from the subset of Soul Food to the regional genus of Southern cuisine after or before the two began to share the same kitchen is unclear. What is clear, however, is that cowpeas are an excellent source of protein and fiber. Cowpeas also have high levels of folate, a form of vitamin B which strengthens the blood, preventing of cancer, birth defects and anemia. Cowpeas have ten times the folate of O.J.

The Pink Eye variety of purplehulls are naturally bacteria and virus resistant (which is abbreviated BVR in the seed catalogues).

Cook purplehulls the same way you would the black eyed ones: best served over rice. If doing the latter, bring the peas to a boil in water or stock with butter, salt, onion and garlic then let simmer on medium low for about 90 minutes. Throwing in a hamhock or bacon or whatever form of pork you have on hand will greatly enhance the dish, if that's your thing.

Like any form of cowpeas, purplehulls also go great in salads or soups or salsas.

Purplehulls are traditionally served on any anniversary of a loved one's passing, much like black eyed peas are often served on New Year's Day for good luck.

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